Penn Foster College Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (159)
Penn Foster is a big waste of time. I am going there to become a Vet Tech. They spend 4-6 weeks just to process you proctored exams. Then they require two practicums. One in a small clinic and another in a large. In order to work there you must be approved first. However, the approval process takes months. I submitted my paperwork in July. However, it took all the way to October to get approved. Don't get me wronge it is cheap. But, the insuctors take weeks to email back if you have an educational question.So, are you really learning? Its hard to say. Now, am in my third semester waiting for books to come in. If your in for a long fustrating school that takes forever to email you back. Join me and the annoyed crew who also attend the school.
I have been attending Penn Foster College for about two months now and I absolutely love this program. The text books are better than any text book i've ever encountered, they are laid out in a very simple form with your learning objectives outlined on the first page of the chapters. They also have really great examples of key factors in what you are studying, really great chapter reviews as well as all of your key terms at the end of each chapter.
Then you have the study guides they provide with each class that outlines key elements of what you are about to study and in them they provide self checks at the end of each reading assignment so you can check your progress. Any questions I have had so far have been answered in a very polite timely fashion. My shipments are sent right on time (when you are 60% done with each class).
To those of you who are complaining about not being able to receive your degree until you pay off your debt: Number one: If you would have called the school before enrolling and asked questions they are very up front about this issue. Number two: Even if you didn't call and speak with someone if you would have read the student handbook that is provided to you on your home page it's spelled out for you in black and white.
To those of you thinking about attending this school, pay no mind to the people that have had bad experiences due to lack of research or lack of just asking questions or reading a handbook. If you are going to attend a non-hands on program this is the school for you.
I went through Penn Foster when they were called Thomson for my high school diploma in 2005. I enrolled in the Criminal Justice program and then switched to Early Childhood Education (I had to pay $200 to do that). I have been satisfied so far. I like the fact that you can pay monthly payments instead of all at once out of pocket. I have 2 kids and it helps me that I get to stay home and study, take tests and so on. I am going to switch back to Criminal Justice (hopefully I don't have to pay $200 again) so that I can become a Cop one day...
The people who are complaining either have had issues with rudeness, which does not reflect on the school's academic reputation(even a Harvard professor can be a jerk), or they have obviously NOT done proper research on their course of interest, their state/area, and the fine print of the school.
BEFORE I enrolled I KNEW that I would not be receiving my diploma until ALL of the tuition was paid off. I knew this because I researched and read ALL the print and fine print that they offered about themselves.
I looked online AND called the businesses in my area to find out the status of Penn Foster in my chosen field. As well, I looked online for accreditation and personal reviews.
I mean, my goodness people. You are all just complaining about personal issues, mostly of your own folly, but not giving any good, substantial evidence that Penn Foster is a "bad" school.
With all that said I would implore that one looks extensively into the status of the school and it's degree, within your state/area BEFORE making any solid decision and/or paying any money.
And for courses that require hands-on experience, well, a hands-on course is obviously the best choice. Penn Foster offers it, but it doesn't mean it is the best choice to take it. More like the lazy choice if you ask me. I certainly wouldn't expect to receive proper massage therapy training online. Or Vet/Dental tech, or Mechanic, or et al.
**Research the best learning method for your course of study!!**
Penn Foster is offering an ALTERNATIVE with quality in what it CAN offer. Many schools excel in certain types of courses compared to others they offer. No school is the "best" ALL the way around. It IS the responsibility if the STUDENT to understand and discern which course training is just as effective online.
For the courses that DO work best with Penn Foster's online learning, they are great. Comprehensive, in depth, unintimidating, and inexpensive. I like the material being broken down into "study units" and I really enjoy that there are self-checks at the end of each section within the study unit. Like critical thinking in Grade School text books. And that you can take the tests right after studying, while it is still very fresh in your mind. Especially helpful for the less "appealing" subjects that I seem not to retain. I have had a good experience with the people too.
Penn Foster is a great distance learning school, not a perfect school. The discernment is in the course of study and how effective online learning will be for it. If Penn Foster can't offer a substantial enough Dental degree, what ONLINE school can?
I am taking Medical Transcription.
This school is absolutely Amazing! But In my opinion, I think if your looking for an online school, don't sign up if you want to be a vet tech, or a nurse, or a dental assistant. These things need lots of hands on training, you will not learn anything from an online school, and you will have zero experience.
If your looking for a career in business, or accounting, or medical billing and coding online schooling would be good for you. You people are complaining because you signed up and you didn't realize your state doesn't accept their diploma's or the program didn't offer you what you needed. These things should all be researched before you sign up for a school, if you just sign up without checking into all the important things, its no ones fault but your own.
Don't knock the school because you don't know what your doing, This is common sense people, do your work, research, make sure you know what your doing, how much your going to pay, what you will be studying before you pay that..small amount your complaining about. If you think its so bad, Go to a real college and pay their tuition :)
I completed their Desktop Publishing and Design certificate program back in 1997 when they were still ICS. Now I am back after years of experience that program helped me attain to complete the Graphic Design Certificate and apply it toward the A.S. degree. PF is accredited, so maybe student satisfaction varies from program to program. I wanted quality training and am very satisfied. It is not just a "look up the answers and pass the tests" program. They provide opportunity for hands-on practice exercises and knowledge application. Opportunity is the key word - you've got to be patient and work through the program to get the most out of it. If you short-cut it, you won't get your money's worth.
Considering the self-paced schedule and no-interest tuition financing - I don't think there is a better return on investment out there.
While I feel the program included a lot of information and I have learned a lot, the so called Instructors are a joke! Apparently there are only two "instructors" who know little to nothing about children. Everytime I asked them a question regarding an exam they said "chose which I thought was best". When I did so and I got the answer wrong they said "I see your argument for the answer you chose and it could be right, but it's not the correct answer." I only have a 92 average because there is NO help available with this program. A few of the answers on the exams were very vague but there is no one to help explain them. The two instuctors are Susan McGrath (extremely rude and of NO help), and Sherry Pietrzykoski (slightly less rude but still of no help). If you decide to take these course expect to do so with no help.
I started with Penn Foster about six months ago and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the material they send me. They have never missed one shipment, when it comes to talking to the advisors they have always answered my questions, and they send e-mails to let me know of my progress. I am almost done with my course and I can not complain. I am a mother of three have two jobs and this is great to have a better future. You dont get that with a lot of the schools out there.
I have been enrolled in the Medical Transcription Course at Penn Foster for 1 year now. I am on my 2nd to last set of materials. I have seen a lot of people complain about no communication with the school "oh I called them and they took a week to get back to me" well first off You are not their only student. Some people complain well they won't give me my degree till I pay off the course- HELLO people neither will a college or university that you go and sit at. I have seen were someone said that they are a scam- well Believe me they are not, the people that say this are probably not dedicated enough to work on their own. Granted there are some courses I agree that should not be taken on-line (anything hands on-like engine repair) but for the courses that you use a computer for most of the career (like transcription, billing,bookkeeping,etc) you are going for, why not save the money and do your classes online? I am very happy and completely challenged with my course. Trust me this is not a cake walk. If that is what you think an online school should be then you need more help than what a degree can give you.
Penn Foster College isn't a scam NOR is it not accredited. I got my Pharmacy Technician Diploma in 2007. It definitely helped me land a Pharmacy Technician job--especially when my then employer had me do a test of conversions, reading the SIG part, matching brand name drugs with their generics, etc. However, since I live in the state of Florida, Florida's only requirement for Pharmacy Technicians is to register with the State Board of Pharmacy--it became a law as of Jan 1, 2010. So, before anybody enrolls with Penn Foster's Pharmacy Technician course, do your research and make sure PR is accredited with your State Board of Pharmacy.
In summary, if you plan on enrolling with Penn Foster, read their payment section carefully. If you don't pay your tuition in full before you complete all of your credits, you don't graduate until all debt is paid. It can be great, because you won't be in debt.
I am once again enrolled in Penn Foster (A.S. in Finance). This time around, I get college size textbooks rather than just "study units(thin to medium size colorless textbooks)." Study Unit books keep the tuition low--which isn't a bad thing. Would I recommend Penn Foster College to anybody? No. It would depend on your Degree/Diploma. If your Degree/Diploma requires state regulations, first find out if Penn Foster is approved with your state. In some states, you must be certified AND must've attended a state-approved school before you can work as a Pharmacy Technician.